Christmas came early in Albany this year. Santa Cuomo bounded down the Capitol chimney with a sackful of relief — tax relief for middle-class New Yorkers and (with reductions in the downstate MTA payroll levy) small businesses and nonpublic schools and help for upstate communities hit by this year’s floods. (Oh, yes, wealthy New Yorkers got lumps of coal, with a partial extension of the “millionaires tax.”)
The biggest gifts came in the form of economic-development grants to a statewide list of businesses, local governments and nonprofits. Santa Cuomo had a broad definition of “economic development.” His “nice” list reads much like a bunch of member-item grants — cash doled out for reasons of political connections, not policy principles.